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Help with sawing


I have to saw a very fine design in a 1 mm thick silver plate. I use
a 0,5 mm drill to drill a little hole and then use a 3/0 or 4/0 saw
blade. But I always end up with the drill hole larger than the
sawing, thus very visible, and it hurts the design. What am I doing
wrong? Can anybody help me? Thank you, Linda


You are placing a rectangular saw blade (cross section) into a round
hole and this is always the result.

Slotting is always difficult. The way round it is to make your first
cut, then go over it again pulling the blade to the outside and using
it rather like a file, then repeating it again in the reverse

Design has got to have a reference to the tools available. You can
cut thin lines using lazers but a sawed line that starts inside the
piece will aways have this “feature” - just as a caligraphic pen
stroke always starts with an upward stroke. Rethink the design. Make
the starting hole larger, part of the line, end with another hole?

Tony Konrath
Key West Florida 33040


I have to saw a very fine design in a 1 mm thick silver plate. I use
a 0,5 mm drill to drill a little hole and then use a 3/0 or 4/0 saw

G’day; It is possible to make a drill for sterling from a very
fine sewing needle. Using two pairs of pliers snap off the point,
then use 300 grit wet’n’dry paper cemented to a thin piece of wood,
like an ice cream stick, and use it wet. Sand a flat 45 degree
angle on the side of the snapped end, rotate it 90 degrees around
it’s long axis and sand the opposite side. The two should meet in
the end’s centre. Now snap off the eye. It isn’t very
efficient, but if you drill slowly and lubricate with water, it will
make a suitable hole in 1 mm sterling. Incidentally I like to use
the finest blade I can get, which is an 8/0. It may be more slow,
but you can do very fine work with it.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


It’s almost always the case that your drill hole will be wider than
the saw cut made by the saw you can get into a given hole. But if
the saw blade you’re using is a 4/0, you may be able to use two
steps. Start with a number 80 drill, about the smallest made.
rocking it back and forth in a line can drift the hole slightly (be
careful not to break the drill), till you can get an 8/0 blade into
that hole. Now use the 8/0 blade to start the cut, and by going over
it a couple times, you can widen the cut to the full width of the
original hole. Now, since the cut is as wide as the drill hole, but
longer, you’ll be able to fit in your larger, 4/0 blade.

Another method that can sometimes be used is to start with the
smallest drill hole that will allow your desired blade, and cut a
ways away from the hole, remove the blade, and with a very small and
light hammer, gently planish the area just to each side of the hole.
The metal will slightly stretch, compressing towards the hole and
closing up the saw kerf there. You can then saw back through it,
since you’ve got the ends of the saw cut where you can still fit
your blade, and when you saw back through that section, you’ll remove
the traces of the drill hole. But this assumes you can tolerate the
slight distortion caused by that light planishing…